Its only been a few years since teams began using them; however, rider radio communication may be on its way out. Back in March of ’04 the folks within UCI began discussions regarding the removal of race radio communication between riders and their team staff. Most of the teams raised a major stink causing UCI to back down. A short time after that they banned radio use by Juniors in hopes of fostering better riders, those capable of making decisions on their own. This seemed to go over well amongst the racing world.
It’s now 2008 and the subject seems to have popped up again. On February 15th UCI announced the formation of two new ‘working groups’, one of which will ‘treat the question of radio transmissions and coaching during competitions’. Then yesterday CyclingNews announced that the UCI has banned radio use by U23 riders and that further discussions are forthcoming.
Could this lead us back to the days where the top riders had to pay more attention, eighteen minute gaps from the break to the peloton did not exist and attacks came more frequently and at strange places on the course? Or could this lead us into a boring stage of racing where riders spend more time watching each other and less time racing? Stay tuned to see how this pans out.